API docs previews with Redoc and Netlify

I talk to a lot of people about their API lifecycles and processes, and one thing that has value in almost every case is immediate documentation preview for all updates to an OpenAPI description. The time it takes to set it up (about ten minutes now I know what to do) is an investment that makes every future change easier to propose, review, and accept. Here’s my recipe for open source OpenAPI documentation using Redoc (disclaimer: I work for Redocly, who publish Redoc) with the files pushed to Netlify for hosting (but it’s HTML, so really any hosting will do and you should feel free to adapt the instructions for your preferred platform, and then share them in the comments). Continue reading

Tips for better documentation with OpenAPI

I love documentation, which is supposed to be rare for software engineers. I am pretty sure that loving documentation is actually very common, but not very cool and so few people admit to it! I love reading good docs, and so I love writing them too. Between hanging out in the Write the Docs community, and recently being at the APItheDocs conference, I’ve answered a bunch of questions about getting good documentation from an OpenAPI document, so I thought I’d round them up in case it’s useful. Continue reading

Sphinx extensions for developer portals

I’ve been gushing about docs-as-code, but realised that I haven’t shared many hands-on tips for actually building different types of sites in this sort of toolchain. I’ve been mostly using Sphinx which generates much better-looking documentation than its website suggests. It’s a python-based static site generator, with a thriving community and lots of great extensions. Today I thought I’d share the extensions I use the most for developer portals (like the Aiven docs, one of my work projects and the source of the screenshots in this post) and what I like about them. Spoiler: may contain a theme as well as the extensions.

Muffet: quick and easy link checking

In my not-so-new job I work on Nexmo’s developer portal and that means a lot of documents, a lot of links, just a lot to keep track of! One thing I worry about is changing something and breaking links from somewhere else, so I wanted to be able to check for existing links, broken links, and to include internal links like http://example.com/home#something as well since all our titles are linkable in that way.

Enter: muffet Continue reading